Brazil approves Sanofi Pasteur vaccine clinical trial

A Sanofi logo is seen during the company's annual results news conference in Paris, France, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

BRASILIA, July 6 (Reuters) - Brazil's health regulator Anvisa said on Tuesday it has approved a new clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate to be developed and tested by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccination division of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi.

The shot will be a 'next-generation' vaccine using mRNA technologies and the clinical study will be phase 1 and 2, Anvisa said, adding that around 150 volunteers in Brazil will be used.

Vaccine candidates typically must go on to prove their efficacy and safety in phase 3 trials involving thousands of people before manufacturers can receive permission for wider use.

The mRNA technology has previously proved itself in the Pfizer (PFE.N) and Moderna (MRNA.O) COVID-19 jabs.

The study aims to apply two doses, 21 days apart, and will be conducted in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio de Janeiro, Anvisa said.

The phase 1/2 trial is also expected to take place in the United States, Honduras and Australia.

The rise in Brazil's COVID-19 case count and death toll is slowing but the country is still far behind others in getting its population vaccinated, and allegations of corruption against President Jair Bolsonaro in the procurement process have recently surfaced. read more

Brazil's death toll of more than 525,000 remains the second highest in the world after the United States.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Ana Mano Editing by Peter Graff

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